500,000 views and still growing

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Dear loyal blog followers,

Thank you so much for taking my view count to just a smidge over 500,000 views in just five years. I know from your comments, purchases and much needed ad revenue that you still find my corner of the internet interesting enough to visit regularly. To each one of you, thank you :)

Can’t wait to get to the million mark!

Neil

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Crochet from scratch

I’ve been busy over the last couple of days doing some crochet. I’ve been asked to lead a couple of workshops for beginner crocheters by Quorn Country Crafts over in Loughborough (starts Sat 12th September). Not wanting to nick someone else’s pattern, I’ve started from scratch, designing two projects I hope to see the attendees complete over the sessions.

The first is a crochet sampler panel, introducing slip stitch, chain stitch, double crochet, treble crochet, half treble popcorns and double treble crochet, working in front and back loops. And if a second panel were to be completed and joined with the filet crochet panel and then fringed, a handy scarf will be complete. All I have to do is write the pattern down now. [Worked in Hayfield Chunky With Wool on 6.5mm hook].

And for those that whizz ahead and do their homework, I’ll also be teaching crochet in the round, designing this snowflake tree decoration for the lessons. [Worked in Sirdar Ella Summer Luxe Cotton on 4mm hook]

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There are still spaces available on the three courses (five sessions altogether) – book via the Quorn Country Crafts website, or give them a ring!

 

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Altered Art: Book Folding

Regular readers of my blog will know that when I try something new, I tend to go straight for it, often not practicing first, and sometimes not really having any clue as to how the finished project will turn out. Well, I was recently asked by one of my Studio regulars if I had tried book folding… I haven’t, despite it being all the rage at the moment.
I thought it couldn’t be that hard, so decided to fold the Studio logo (StudiologoSmall) into a spare hardback (The Tommmyknockers, if you’re wondering). I watched a quick video on YouTube, and got on with it. Two hours later I discovered that to avoid the art piece apparently advertising a Jackie Collins book title, I’m going to have to stick in a few more pages…

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What I have learnt doing this: firstly, it takes time. A lot of time. Secondly, italics and swooshes need more pages. Thirdly, too many letters makes for poor resolution and difficult to read final result. And finally, I think this may be addictive, and I’m going to work on the method more so that I can be even more ambitious with the art form. Time to hit the charity shops methinks…

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Grille: a tangle pattern

Grille

This pattern is an adaptation of the wrought iron gates that are at the entrance to St Saviour’s Chapel in Norwich Cathedral. I have added the heart, but otherwise it’s pretty much the same design. I’ve drawn several iterations of the design together – it’s another of those patterns that develop something more when blocked as a group.

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If you’re into zentangling natural forms, you might like to check out this book review and have the chance to win a copy before it’s in the shops.

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Thank You Cards

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Using a combination of techniques I learnt in my Background Check class with Online Card Classes, Hero Arts Ombré ink pads and a #neverbeenused Darkroom Door background stamp, I’ve made these five ‘thank you’ cards. Quick, simple and super effective results, even if I do say so myself :)

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Art Journal Page: Make Art (and stop hoarding)

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In fear of being hoist by my own petard, I set to this morning to tackle something that has been building up for quite a while… I’d made a comment yesterday on the Craftwork Cards Fan Page in response to a post about hoarding craft materials: that it was only hoarding if you hadn’t actually used them. And then realised my collection of rubber stamps that hadn’t seen an ink pad was quite extensive #neverbeenused #nbu. So I laid them all out to start planning on using them all at least once… it might take a while:
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Sardines: a tangle pattern

Sardines

Ok, so may be they don’t look exactly like sardines, but I thought the carrot or dibber shapes were packed in like sardines! This is another pattern based on the ceiling stonework in another of the niche tombs in Norwich Cathedral. As you can see from the inspiration photo below, the pattern can be mirrored along the top horizontal axis. That said, there are lots of ways to break this one apart to get different variations.

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Art Journal Page: Alphabet Sampler

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There seems to be one common theme amongst those attending my art journaling session each month – they don’t like their own handwriting. Or don’t think they can do hand lettering on their pages. Well, they’re in for a shock in September’s session… this is the project! Starting on an acrylic paint background (it wipes clean!) I’ve gridded off the page, free-drawn my letters and then gone mad with the paint and black and white pens. It’s an exercise in drawing and embellishing, and hopefully will give my class a little more confidence to do their own thing on their pages. Or put them off completely. I’ll let you know.

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